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Full text of "Journeys In Persia And Kurdistan ( Vol.Ii)."

LETTER xxv          KUKDISH ROAD-GUARDS                     201

LETTER XXV (Continued)

THE following morning the Sartip turned out in my
honour all the road-guards then in Sain Kala to the
number of twelve to escort me to the castle of Muhammad
Jik, a large village, the residence and property of the Nail
Sartip. This was the wildest escort I have had yet.
These men were dressed in full Kurdish finery, and
besides guns elaborately inlaid with silver and ivory, and
swords in much-decorated scabbards, they carried daggers
with hilts incrusted with turquoises in their girdles. They
went through all the usual-equestrian performances, and
added another, which consists in twirling a loaded and
clubbed stick in a peculiar manner, and throwing it as
far ahead as possible while riding at full gallop, the one
who picks it up without dismounting being entitled to the
next throw. Very few succeeded in securing it in the
regulation manner, and the scrimmage for this purpose
was often on the point of becoming a real fight. They
worked themselves up to a pitch of wild excitement,
screamed, yelled, shouted, covered their horses with sweat
and foam, nearly unhorsed each other, and used their
sharp bits so unmercifully that the mouth of every horse
dripped with blood.

After they received laUisheesh they escorted me two
miles farther " to honour the Khanwn" fired their guns
in the air, salaamed profoundly, and with shrieks and
yells left me at a gallop.